Thursday 14th February 2013 1 Comment
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Former Capital + Merchant Finance director Trevor Janes passed the smell-test on his appointment to head the Accident Compensation Corp board's investment committee after officials had a look at it.
In response to questions from Labour Party MP Phil Twyford, ACC chair Paula Rebstock told Parliament's transport and industrial relations committee that officials undertook due diligence into Janes' role at Capital + Merchant and the Financial Markets Authority's investigation into the failed lender.
"It is something that was investigated prior to him coming on the board," Rebstock said. "I have been given assurances about the appropriateness of having Mr Janes chair that committee."
Janes was appointed deputy chair of ACC last year in a boardroom sweep-out of the state-owned insurer after major privacy breaches undermined ACC Minister Judith Collins' confidence in the board, and heads up the investment committee, which sets the risk tolerance and guidelines, reviews ACC's investment portfolio and controls the investment framework for its funds.
He left Capital + Merchant in 2006, a year before the lender collapsed in 2007 owing some $167.1 million to about 7,500 investors. Three other Capital + Merchant directors have since been subject to successful fraud prosecutions and three have pleaded guilty to making untrue statements in an offer document.
Committee chairman and National Party MP David Bennett slowed down the questioning process, saying "sensitive issues like that, we just need to take a bit of time."
Twyford queried Janes' role heading the investment committee after Rebstock had earlier paid tribute to ACC's investment team, saying its' performance was "nothing short of outstanding" and the only fund they can find with comparable returns was the Yale University endowment fund.
ACC's investment portfolio manages about $20.5 billion and is the country's biggest fund.
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